ALAA Roots — An Unofficial Site

September 22, 2009

2009.09.22: RE: Urgent Appeal to ALAA Members: Defend Free Speech at Legal Aid

Filed under: Free Speech,Palestine — nyclaw01 @ 8:20 am

From: Letwin, Michael
Sent: Tuesday, September 22, 2009 8:20 AM
To: [M]
Subject: RE: Urgent Appeal to ALAA Members: Defend Free Speech at Legal Aid

[M],

Sorry for the delayed response, but it’s been . . . A little hectic.

I think you know me well enough to see that I don’t set out to be “hurtful,” but rather to stand up for my beliefs. Would you really respect me if I didn’t? (I wouldn’t.)

And the union, including union email, *is* a forum for political expression — particularly when others routinely do so. (Vote for Obama, whatever.) Should the test really be whether one’s point of view is popular?

Under similar attack, MLK explained the principle I try to honor:

“One day a newsman came to me and said, “Dr. King, don’t you think you’re going to have to stop, now, opposing the war and move more in line with the administration’s policy? As I understand it, it has hurt the budget of your organization, and people who once respected you have lost respect foryou. Don’t you feel that you’ve really got to change your position?” I looked at him and I had to say, “Sir, I’m sorry you don’t know me. I’m not a consensus leader. I do not determine what is right and wrong by looking at the budget of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. I’ve not taken a sort of Gallup Poll of the majority opinion.” Ultimately a genuine leader is not a searcher for consensus, but a molder of consensus.

On some positions, cowardice asks the question, is it expedient? And then expedience comes along and asks the question, is it politic? Vanity asks the question, is it popular? Conscience asks the question, is it right?

“There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular, but he must do it because conscience tells him it is right.”
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/index.php/kingpapers/article/remaining_awake_through_a_great_revolution/

Best,

Michael

—–Original Message—–
From: [M]
Sent: Tuesday, September 15, 2009 8:56 PM
To: Letwin, Michael
Subject: Re: Urgent Appeal to ALAA Members: Defend Free Speech at Legal Aid

I love you but you did this to yourself and to all of us. we don’t have a free speech right bc we work fora non profit law firm. I cringe when you send those emails that intentionally provoke outrage and are HURTFUL. I don’t understand why you think that’s ok. I support your positions politically, but alaaemail is not the forum. I don’t think you are going to get a lot of support from your colleagues on this issue.
but I wanted to come to las bc I thought you were a badass and I love love love you.

sent from my cell…

On Sep 15, 2009, at 8:47 PM, “Letwin, Michael”
wrote:

> The attached Word document provides background and context in
> opposition to the proposed surrender of free speech rights on the
> union email lists, which is scheduled for a vote at this Thursday’s
> Joint Council meeting.
>
> *To endorse this statement, please say so in a “reply all” message.*
> <Defend.Free.Speech.doc> <Attachment 1 —
> LASALAAE-mailArbitrationSettlement072809[1].pdf>

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